A truck driver pulled over for a logbook check and commercial vehicle inspection shot himself and died in an apparent response to fear that marijuana he was smuggling in the cab of his rig would be discovered.
Mason Burks, 46, of Springfield, MO, shot himself in the chest after being stopped by a state trooper along U.S. Highway 59 in Lufkin, TX. A stash of 603 lbs. of pot was discovered in the sleeper of Burks’ rig, according to Texas Dept. of Public Safety spokesman Greg Sanches.
“The trooper made a traffic stop to check his commercial papers and logbook. He had just walked up to the vehicle to try to talk to (Burks), and (Burks) was kind of leaned over looking at him,” Sanches told the Lufkin Daily News. “The trooper couldn’t hear very well because of all the traffic. He was getting ready to step up to the window and, about that time, a gunshot went off. The trooper jumped down, took cover and was trying to talk to (Burks).”
McCain then waited for backup to arrive at the scene then approached the truck and discovered Burks had succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Possession of the amount of drugs discovered is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison, Sanches said.
“It doesn’t happen a lot, but occasionally you’ll hear things like this,” Sanches said. “A trooper stops somebody, and they’ve been having a lot of problems in their life so they’ll take their life or they’ll try to take the life of whoever is stopping them on the roadway. That’s why we try to treat every situation with high priority for our safety out there on the roadway.
“It’s sad for the man and his family. We feel for them also,” Sanches said. “I hate it for the trooper having to go through it, too. It puts them in a tough situation.”